7 p.m. vs. Arizona State on Friday (FSN) and Saturday (FSN Plus) at 3M Arena at Mariucci • 1130-AM/103.5-FM
First-ever series with Sun Devils
Preview: The Gophers (14-15-4, 11-10-3) will watch as the rest of the Big Ten plays each other to finalize conference tournament seedings on the final weekend of the regular season. Instead, they’ll face independent and 12th-ranked Arizona State (21-10-1) for the first time. The Sun Devils, in just their fourth season as a program, are basically a lock for the NCAA tournament. The Gophers will need to win the Big Ten tournament in order to reach the NCAA tournament. They will start with a home quarterfinal series next weekend.
Players to watch: Arizona State sophomore forward Johnny Walker leads the nation with .742 goals per game. He has 23 goals and 11 assists in 31 games. He’s also tied for second with nine power-play goals. Sun Devils junior goaltender Joey Daccord is sixth in the country with a .930 save percentage and is tied for first with seven shutouts.
Two goalies: Gophers coach Bob Motzko said he planned to play both junior Mat Robson and senior Eric Schierhorn in goal this weekend. Robson has been the main netminder, compiling a 3.01 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. Schierhorn has played only six games. “We have two good goalies,” Motzko said. “And it’s time we get them both back in.”